Tag Archives: Fats Parameter

Say Goodbye To The Queen

 

Hi, Tony here.

I recorded this song in October 1999, shortly before the referendum on the republic. It is essentially reflecting on a basic irony – while we were still getting into a collective lather over whether we should finally assert our full independence from Britain, in reality our allegiance and subservience has long since been transferred to the USA. The recent debate over our role in the war in Afghanistan has once again highlighted this.

This seems a good time to post this up as the media gets into a lather about the engagement of Will and Kate and the impending spectacle of their royal wedding (with constant invocations of the ghost of Lady Di).

The prospect of King William of Australia has already galvanised the republican debate again, although we are unlikely to have another referendum soon. I suspect there is very little enthusiasm for a King Charles of Australia, or a King William of Australia, but neither is there any widespread feeling that a change is urgently needed. The referendum in 1999 was of course set up by Howard to fail, and to postpone change for as long as possible.

For those who want Australia to be a republic, naturally I agree, and the sooner the better, but as I commented at the time, just as importantly, Australia badly needs a Bill of Rights. We also need a much more independent foreign policy.

At the time I recorded this I was living in Adelaide. I recorded it at Big Cactus Studios, a small studio upstairs in the beautiful old Grace Emily Hotel in Waymouth St, a well-known venue for live music.

I had a couple of dozen CDs printed with the above logo, pinched from the 20c coin, under the name Fats Parameter, and circulated them to community radio stations (and Aunty) around the country. Basically this was a throwaway ditty for the occasion, with a short use-by date, and of necessity produced in some haste. But I was happy with the song.

Tony Kneipp

 

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Living It Up On The Dole

As election fever is in the air with only a week to go it seems like a good time to post up this recording. I had moved down to Adelaide to get out of Brisbane for a while, and had been there for less than a year when the Howard government first ran for re-election in 1998. The main issue was the GST, but there was a healthy dose of bash the dole bludger thrown in to the mix for good measure. I was on the dole at the time, and was stirred up enough by the hateful rhetoric to come up with this song. This was also of course the time of Pauline Hanson and One Nation, not referred to by name in the song, but clearly reflected in the words of the third verse.

 

I wasn’t in a band, but I decided to record the song if I could and circulate it to some of the community radio stations around the country in the lead-up to the election.

I was regularly going to Rob Scott’s jam sessions on a Thursday night at his bookshop Bookends in Unley – a very civilised affair, I have fond memories of those nights. Rob put me on to Jim Redgate, from the well known surf rock band GT Stringer.

The song was recorded at Jim’s home studio in Belair on 15/9/98. The guitar I am playing is one of Jim’s. That’s what he does for a living. His home was also his luthier’s workshop. His guitars are internationally famous and sell for thousands of dollars.

I made a couple of dozen cassettes of the recording under my old musical moniker of Fats Parameter and circulated them to community radio stations and friends.

Later on in my stay in Adelaide I was playing in Beige with Patrick O’Grady and John Sullivan, then Patrick dropped out and I was playing in a duo, Hazy Space, with John. This song was regularly included in our play list for live gigs in both lineups and went down a treat with our audiences. Unfortunately I don’t have any recordings of those gigs.

Tony Kneipp

 

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